Racial Discrimination In The Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace is defined as treating, or proposing to treat, someone not fair because of a personal characteristic. There are many types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace but I will only be discussing racial discrimination in the workplace. A lot of times this type of discrimination takes place and is unnoticeable. For example, how do we really know that we did not get hired for the position because we were Hispanic, or because we did not speak Spanish? We honestly would never know unless the employer admits to it.

We as employees may never know why we were not hired for that promotion or position. An option would be to ask the employer but, it is very likely that the employer can make up any reason that is not based on race and make us believe them. Another this is that employers may be discriminating and not even realize it. An employer may only hire a certain race lets say because their interviews are all amazing and not even realize their staff is not diverse. On the bright side there are two types of laws against discrimination that protect us as employees.

First we have the federal anti discrimination laws. These are the laws that address racial discrimination in the workplace. This section is referred to as “Title VII” it prohibits employers from: failing or refusing to hire an employee based on their race, firing or disciplining an employee because of their race, paying an employee less or giving them fewer benefits because of their race, not giving an employee benefits at all because of their race, and much more.

Finally, we have the state anti-discrimination laws. States are involved fully when it comes to workplace discrimination. A lot of times people think the only ones involved is the federal law and that is not the case. The laws for state usually just mirror the federal laws. However every state is different. The main difference are the different procedures used compared to the federal level.


Racial Discrimination in the Workplace. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/racial-discrimination-in-the-workplace.html


  1. You’re absolutely correct, we may never know, and as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. I don’t think I would feel any better knowing that I wasn’t hired because of my race. If they can so easily discriminate, I may not want to work for them anyways.

    I was reading a very interesting article about this by Lewis (2015), in which she pointed out how implicit biases influence hiring. The article also states, if hiring managers knew they were perpetuating discrimination, they would probably wish they could stop it (Lewis, 2015). The suggestion was if they want their workplace to be fair, they could implement three steps: identify areas of possible bias; identify ways to measure the success of interventions; and finally, implement change that will assist in decreasing implicit biases.(Williams; as cited in Lewis, 2015).

    As you stated, we do have laws in place to help curb discrimination, but some employers who discriminate, don’t even know they’re doing it. Companies like Google, are taking steps to fight implicit biases by implementing policies that encourage more women to nominate themselves for a promotion(common practice in Google, but women were less likely than man to do this). I think we will notice real change once more companies decide to address subconscious biases in their workplace.


    Lewis, K.R. (2015, March 31). How to make your company less sexist and racist. The Atlantic Business. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/03/how-to-make-your-company-less-sexist-and-racist/388931/

  2. Rebecca Hanna Hormann

    However brief, your post was straight to the point and laid out two very important laws that people should be aware of if they every get in a situation where they feel as they may be a victim of discrimination. It is so true how you talk about that there is no way we can know whether we are a victim or not. Maybe we have an idea if we know a little more about the other people who work there who the others who interviewed, but we would really need inside scoop. Also, its true that asking the employer why you weren’t hired will most likely not lead to an honest answer as, since you are not his or her employee, your feelings are not very relevant.
    I was aware of the Title VII law as most people are but was not specifically aware that each state has its own specific type of law. What types of differences are entailed in these different laws exactly? Have you personally had any experiences in which you were a victim of discrimination?

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